Denver voter guide: three Denver Public School board seats, one City Council referred question and two state ballot questions

Three DPS seats are up for grabs and could reshape the board’s makeup.
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Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Yes, believe it or not, it is time to vote once again. Hey, healthy democracy and all that.

Come Nov. 7, Denverites will have their votes counted to decide three Denver Public School board director seats, a couple of state ballot measures and to answer one question that's been referred to voters by Denver City Council.

DPS schools and the board that governs them have captured much attention this year, following the shooting and death of East High School student Luis Garcia. Weeks later, a student at East shot two administrators inside the school and killed himself as police searched for him. The incidents re-ignited a call for armed police to return to schools and DPS reversed a 2020 decision that barred armed cops from campuses.

The board is also dealing with dwindling enrollment and its own transparency and what's publicly perceived as some members' inability to get along with each other.

With three seats up for grabs, and one of the city's most outspoken politicians leaving the board to run for the Statehouse, the makeup of the voting body could change significantly depending on the election's outcome.

❗First, a few things to know about voting:

Registered voters can expect to see ballots arrive in the mail on or shortly after Oct. 16.

You can check your voter registration status or register to vote at the Colorado Secretary of State's website. You can get a ballot mailed to you if you register at least 22 days before Election Day. You can also register to vote through Election Day, though you'll have to vote in person if you choose that route.

You can also track your ballot by signing up for that service right here.

? Where can I vote?

A list of Denver County polling locations can be found  by clicking here.

? These are the issues that are likely top of mind for parents and voters

Without a doubt, school safety has been the most discussed topic in relation to DPS this year. After two deadly shootings and increasing reports of youth violence, the question of how to make students and parents feel safer at school is top of mind.

Still, as students are struggling with their mental health as they recover from the pandemic. Across the city, families are being priced out of neighborhoods, which is contributing to a decline in enrollment.

Read a full breakdown of the major issues in this year's school board race and a bit about what the governing body's responsibilities are here.

? The three DPS seats up for grabs:


Three candidates, Brittni Johnson, John Youngquist, and Kwame Spearman, are running to replace DPS Board Vice President Auon'tai Anderson, who chose not to run for re-election. Read our breakdown of the race here.

District 1

Incumbent and entrepreneur Scott Baldermann is looking to hold onto his seat. Former charter school principal Kimberlee Sia is hoping to bring a set of fresh eyes to the board. Read our breakdown of the race here.

District 5

Charmaine Lindsay, who was appointed in 2022 by a divided board, is running to be elected to the seat but faces challenges from Marlene De La Rosa and Adam Slutzker. Read our breakdown of the race here.

?‍?‍? Referred question 2P: the one about preschool funding

Denver voters are being asked to make permanent an existing sales tax of 0.15% to fund preschool tuition credits. Voters have approved the program three times already. Read a full explainer of the language you'll see on the ballot and how the program works here.

❎ The two state ballot measures you'll be voting on:

? Proposition HH: The one about lowering property taxes and using TABOR refund dollars to help fund schools. Read an explainer about Prop HH here from CPR News.

? Proposition II: The one that would allow the state to fully dedicate recently approved nicotine taxes to universal pre-k instead of refunding more than $23 million to tobacco retailers. Read an explainer here from CPR News.

Can we help clear up anything else you'll see on the ballot? Drop us a line at [email protected]

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